GenX Investigation

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, in consultation with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, is leading a state investigation into reports of an unregulated chemical known as GenX in the lower Cape Fear River. As part of the probe, DEQ strongly encouraged Chemours, the company that produces the chemical at its facility in Fayetteville, to identify any measures it could take to reduce or eliminate the discharge of the chemical into the river.

Chemours responded to requests from state and local officials and residents by announcing that the company will capture, remove and safely dispose of wastewater that contains the byproduct GenX. This is a good step, but DEQ and DHHS are continuing to investigate the levels of GenX in the lower Cape Fear region and develop the best available information on potential health risks associated with the chemical.

Water Testing Underway

On June 19, 2017, DEQ began collecting water samples from 12 sites along the Cape Fear River. Additional samples will be collected throughout the region during the next several weeks. 
Please see a map of the sampling locations and initial results here.  

After meeting with DEQ staff, Chemours agreed to pay for the sampling and analysis. The analysis of water samples will be conducted by two independent laboratories, a certified facility in Colorado and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency laboratory in the Research Triangle Park near Raleigh. The sample results will be released when available.

EPA to Provide Guidance on Health Risks

Test results from water samples will be used to analyze drinking water safety. The EPA is developing an updated health screening level for GenX to help with this process. DHHS is reviewing all available health data and working with the EPA and the Centers for Disease Control to get their guidance about health risks of GenX.

DEQ is also encouraging the EPA to provide regulatory guidance on GenX and working with the state during its investigation of GenX in the Cape Fear River.

Frequently Asked Questions

News Releases

August 15, 2017
DEQ, DHHS heads respond to state senators' letter, outline request to protect drinking water

August 9, 2017
Newest sampling data shows GenX levels in Cape Fear still below health goal

August 8, 2017
DEQ, DHHS share budget request to protect water, ensure long-term monitoring, analysis and enforcement

August 3, 2017
DEQ gathering documents for federal investigation related to Chemours

August 2, 2017
Latest test results for finished drinking water show GenX below health goal
GenX levels continue downward trend in water samples collected from Cape Fear region

August 1, 2017
Governor Cooper expands state science panel to address new or unregulated chemicals.

July 27, 2017
GenX concentrations in treated water continue downward trend based on new data
Most recent test results all below health goal level

July 24, 2017 
Governor Cooper Memo: Water Quality State Action Items

July 17, 2017
Governor Cooper Urges EPA to Set Limits for Emerging Contaminant GenX
State Has Stopped Chemours’ GenX Discharge for Now, But Federal Action Needed for Permanent Solution 

July 14, 2017
State releases first water quality data, updated health information for GenX in Cape Fear River    

July 11, 2017
State agency receives first GenX water sample data and begins analysis

June 29, 2017
N.C. DHHS Releases Summary of Selected Cancer Rates for Counties in Cape Fear Region
DHHS provided the summary to answer questions raised about cancer during the ongoing investigation of GenX in the Cape Fear River

June 27, 2017
DEQ verifies Chemours has stopped discharging GenX wastewater
Site visit to Chemours part of ongoing state investigation

June 20, 2017
State Moving forward with GenX investigation

June 19, 2017
DEQ starting water quality sampling for GenX in Cape Fear River

June 14, 2017
DEQ, DHHS investigating reports of unregulated chemical in Cape Fear River

Permit Information 


Current Air Quality Permit


Current Hazardous Waste Permit


Current Wastewater Permit (Administratively continued until new permit is issued)

Application for Permit Renewal

Funding Request to N.C. Legislature

Initial Request for Funding

Response Letter to N.C. Senators

Federal Investigation

Subpoena issued to DEQ